PAWTUCKET -- Hideki Okajima tossed two spotless innings Monday, his first appearance since July 8. The lefty lowered his ERA to 1.47 in 21 appearances, yet it hasn’t been all fun and games, at least according to the pitcher himself.
“It’s been very unsatisfying,” said Okajima through interpreter Jeff Cutler when asked how he would quantify the season to date. “I haven’t been able to enjoy baseball the way I would like to.”
Asked if not pitching in Boston was the reason why, Okajima alluded he’s been hindered by some minor injuries. According to Beyeler, Okajima recently had a tooth pulled. On the same visit he also underwent a root canal.
“It’s not because I’m in the minors, nor does it have anything to do with not being in the majors,” Okajima said. “I try not to think about (what’s bothering me) so I’ll leave it at that.”
Would a strong finish coupled by a return trip to Boston help change the way Okajima views the season? “Mainly I’m just focusing on myself and keeping myself healthy and pitching well.”
Given that the July 31st non-waiver deadline is quickly approaching, has Okajima voiced to Boston his desire to be traded? “I’m not thinking about that right now. I’m just focused on myself and make sure I stay healthy and pitch well, wherever I am.”